The Gospel of Matthew begins this way, "This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1). That's how Matthew begins the Christmas story. But here's the question: why does he start with a list of names? The New Testament doesn't have a "Once upon a time" beginning. Instead Matthew gives us a list of names to establish the historical legitimacy of the Christmas story. But there's more to it than that. These names aren't just the people Jesus came from; they're also the kinds of people Jesus came for. And Matthew knows that.